Reaction to Bloody Sunday report
- 15 June 2010
- From the section Northern Ireland
A round-up of the reaction to the Saville report into the shooting dead of 13 people in Londonderry on Bloody Sunday.
DAVID CAMERON, PRIME MINISTER
"The conclusions of this report are absolutely clear. There is no doubt. There is nothing equivocal, there are no ambiguities.
"What happened on Bloody Sunday was both unjustified and unjustifiable. It was wrong.
"These are shocking conclusions to read and shocking words to have to say. But you do not defend the British army by defending the indefensible."
HARRIET HARMAN, ACTING LABOUR LEADER
"For the 14 families whose loved ones were killed, for the 13 injured, for the soldiers and their families, for all those whose lives would never be the same again, this report has been long-awaited.
"Notwithstanding the considerable cost of this inquiry, its value cannot be over-estimated, both in seeking the truth and facilitating the peace process."
MARTIN MCGUINNESS, NI DEPUTY FIRST MINISTER AND FORMER IRA COMMANDER
The report said Mr McGuinness was probably armed with a machine gun on Bloody Sunday.
"I don't think he (Lord Saville) does point the finger at me.
"He knows that these allegations came from all sorts of questionable characters, British agents, many of whom we didn't even know their names.
"But he did go on to say that we are sure that I was involved, me Martin McGuinness, in no activity whatsoever, that provided justification for the shooting carried out by the Parachute Regiment."
MARK DURKAN, SDLP MP FOR FOYLE
"These men were cut down when they marched for justice in their own streets.
"But not only were their lives taken, their innocent memory was then interned without truth by the travesty of the Widgery Tribunal.
"And will the prime minister confirm clearly today that the Widgery findings are now repudiated and binned, and should not be relied upon by anyone as giving any verdict on that day?"
DAVID FORD, NI JUSTICE MINISTER
"The report is an opportunity to put truth on the record and I will study it carefully. It is important that we take time to consider its findings.
"The report will once again raise questions on how Northern Ireland deals with its past and how as a society we can move forward.
"These are issues for the Northern Ireland Office, the Executive and the wider community as a whole to consider."
JEFFREY DONALDSON, DUP MP FOR LAGAN VALLEY
"The difficulty is that we have the truth on one side, but not the truth on the other.
"We don't know the truth about what Martin McGuinness and the IRA were doing on that day.
"While we regret every death... we must not lose sight of the need for balance."
GERRY ADAMS, SINN FEIN LEADER
"Today is a day for the families of those killed and those injured on Bloody Sunday.
"They have campaigned for 38 years for the truth and for justice.
"They have campaigned for the British government to end their policy of cover-up and concealment.
IRISH PRIME MINISTER BRIAN COWEN
"Today is the day when the truth has been set free in the city of Derry.
"This is not about the re-opening of old wounds, but rather it is about the healing of the gaping wounds of injustice left behind by the terrible events of Bloody Sunday.
"The brave and honest words of Prime Minister David Cameron in the House of Commons today will echo around the world."
IRISH PRESIDENT MARY MCALEESE
"I thank Lord Saville, his colleagues and team for their work and commitment over the last 12 years.
"I also wish to pay tribute to former Prime Minister Blair and the late Secretary of State Mowlam for the decision to establish the inquiry."
ULSTER UNIONIST LEADER, SIR REG EMPEY
"Clearly and rightly the onus will always be on ministers of the crown to account for the actions of the military, and today David Cameron shouldered that responsibility.
"However, while some families may have had a degree of closure today, very many others have not been so fortunate.
"In the days before Bloody Sunday, two RUC officers - Peter Gilgunn and David Montgomery - were shot dead in the Creggan area of the city. Their families have not received justice."
DENIS BRADLEY, FORMER CHAIRMAN OF THE CONSULTATIVE GROUP ON THE PAST
"I think it's a very powerful report. I think it clears the people who were killed on that day of any wrongdoing - they weren't posing a threat to anyone.
"I think that is an amazing relief for the families and I think it's amazing justification for what the families have stuck to do for all those years."
LORD TRIMBLE, FORMER ULSTER UNIONIST LEADER
Lord Trimble said the killings were wrong, and mistakes had been made in the planning and conduct of the operation on Bloody Sunday.
However, he added: "It would be perverse if the events of Bloody Sunday were used to justify those unjustifiable events that PIRA launched in the 1970s."
PHILIP CROWLEY, US STATE DEPARTMENT
"We recognise the deep and enduring pain of those who lost loved ones on Bloody Sunday and throughout Northern Ireland's conflict in all communities.
"We hope that the completion of the independent inquiry's work and publication of its report will contribute to Northern Ireland's ongoing transformation from a turbulent past to a peaceful future."
KATE ALLEN, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
"The right of victims and their families to know the truth about past human rights violations is essential in securing their right to redress, but 38 years is too long to wait for that right to be secured."
JIM ALLISTER, TRADITIONAL UNIONIST VOICE LEADER
"My primary thoughts today are with the thousands of innocent victims of the IRA who have never had justice, nor benefitted from any inquiry into why their loved ones died.
"Thus today's jamboree over the Saville report throws into very sharp relief the unacceptable and perverse hierarchy of victims which the preferential treatment of 'Bloody Sunday' has created."